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Megan Bell Named Farash Foundation Director of Grants and Programs


Farash Foundation news release

Megan Bell has been named Director of Grants and Programs for the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation.

Executive Director of the Marie C. and Joseph C. Wilson Foundation in Rochester since 2010, Bell joins the Farash Foundation to assume responsibility for developing, facilitating, and overseeing the grant making process in conjunction with the Farash Foundation’s trustees and Executive Director.

“We are delighted by Megan’s decision to join us,” said Farash Foundation Executive Director Holli Budd. “She has a wealth of experience in the charitable foundation arena and a deep knowledge and appreciation of the nonprofit communities the Foundation serves.

“The Foundation’s grantmaking focuses principally on education, entrepreneurship, and Jewish life,” Budd said. “Megan joins a team that seeks the best possible results and outcomes for our grantees, and I know that she will be a great addition to the Foundation as we strive to fulfill Max and Marian’s wishes for the communities they held dear.”

“From my vantage point at the Wilson Foundation, I have seen the Farash Foundation at work,” Bell said. “The staff, the programs, and the impact on the community have been truly impressive. I hope to build on the momentum of the work already achieved and to create more opportunities for transparency, collaboration, and strategic vision.”

Bell, a native of the Rochester area, has managed a $20 million endowment at the Wilson Foundation with nearly $1 million in grants awarded annually. She has been integrally involved in strategic planning and revamping board structure, and has participated widely in local committees on such topics as trauma, children’s social and emotional health, housing, early childhood support and quality summer learning.

Before joining the Wilson Foundation, she held key positions with the American Institute of Architects and with the Chicago Architecture Foundation in Chicago. In Rochester, her community work has included membership on the boards of Venture Jobs Foundation, Wilson Commencement Park (where she served as chair), Rochester/Monroe County Homeless Continuum of Care, Grantmakers Forum of New York, and Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women.

The Farash Foundation, established in 1988 by Max and Marian Farash, makes grants to nonprofit organizations in Monroe and Ontario Counties, half of them for Jewish projects and programs. The Foundation also supports select international initiatives. The Foundation’s assets total approximately $280 million. From the start of its formal grantmaking programs in 2011 through 2018, the Foundation has made $63 million in grants to community organizations and initiatives.

Bell succeeds Isobel Goldman, who in June retired as the Foundation’s initial Director of Grants and Programs.

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